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Government Land Ownership and Control - National

New information added on September 19, 2013

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"Mexican Drug Cartels Are Growing Marijuana in U.S. National Parks and Forests," News Brief, PRFA, August 2007

Pres. Bush Executive Order for Cooperative Conservation - August 26, 2004
Pres. George W. Bush directed the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency to promote cooperative conservative conservation, emphasizing local participation. he directed agencies to take appropriate account of and respect the interests of
persons with ownership or other legally recognized interests in land and natural resources. His directive requires an annual report on the implementation of the order by each agency to the President
's Council on Environmental Quality. It sets the stage for a White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in one year.

Letter from Fred Grau, State College, Penna. to The Honorable Robert C. Jubelirer, Pennsylvania State Senate, May 31, 2003
Letter protesting possible confirmation of Kathleen McGinty by default, without a Senate vote, and urging that the McGinty confirmation be decided by a roll call vote of the Senate.

"McGinty Nomination Withdrawn"
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell withdrew, at least temporarily, Katie McGinty's name from consideration to head the Department of Environmental Protection. (PRFA, April 24, 2003)

Pennsylvania - Urgent Action Alert!
Oppose the Appointment of Katie McGinty as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (PRFA, Jan. 31, 2003)

January 24, 2002 Action Alert:
"Son of CARA" Has Already Passed the Senate

September 2001
"CARA Alert-Letters, Telephone Calls, and Faxes urgently Needed"
The $45 billion Conservation and Reinvestment Act would automatically funnel $3.1 billion annually into an untouchable trust fund to buy up private land and preserve natural resources.

August 2001
"House of Representatives to Consider CARA, The $44 Billion Anti-Private Property Bill"
Defeated last year, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act passed the House Resources Committee on July 25.

June 2001
"Pat Callahan Stands Up for Private Property at CARA Hearing"
The president of the American Association of Small Property Owners offered unflinching testimony at the June 20 Congressional hearing on H.R. 701

June 24, 2001
"Property Rights Battle Cry: Field Hearings for CARA"
American Land Rights Association's campaign gathers steam.
Twenty-one Congressmen have signed on to a letter asking for local hearings on CARA (HR 701).

 See Also
See Also

Government Control of Private Land

Government Land Acquisition

National Park Service - National

Private Property Rights

Northern Forest Lands

Wetlands Policy - National

Additional Helpful Organizations
Additional Helpful

Alliance for America
(Alliance of property rights and wise use groups)

American Association of Small Property Owners
(Expert in small urban property investor issues. On-line newsletter.)

American Land Rights Association
(Leads fight against
congressional land grabs)

American Policy Center
(Incisive monthly reports about issues related to government overzealousness, private property rights, internationalism, education issues)

Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation

Essential Books & Publications
Essential Books
& Publications

Defending Illusions - Federal Protection of Ecosystems
By Allan K. Fitzsimmons
3192 Rivanna Court
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 491-5615
This book examines the science, philosophy, and law of ecosystems management and shows how
efforts to make federal protection of ecosystems the centerpiece of national environmental policy are driven by religious veneration of Mother Earth wrapped in a veil of science.

Robert H. Nelson, A Burning Issue-A Case for Abolishing the U.S. Forest Service (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000)
Examines the history of government management of National Forests, from the near-century of bureaucratic incompetence to the present-day philosophy of "management" toward imagined pre-colonial conditions, leading to catastrophic wildfires.

Additional information and latest on the Klamath Basin


In-Depth Information

  • Peter J. LaGrasse"The Mythological Native American" - Cannibalism, Headhunting and Human Sacrifice in North America, A History Forgotten by George Franklin Feldman (Alan B. Hood & Co., Chambersburg, Penna. 2008), Book Review by Peter J. LaGrasse, full version of edited review that appeared in the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse Vol. 17, No. 2 (PRFA, July 2013)
    Contrary to common perceptions, pre-Columbian Native Americans were far from noble in their actions toward each other and often had a profoundly negative impact on the environment. To try to restore the landscape to pre-Columbian "wildlands" is a deception.
  • Jim Streeter"Land Issues Facing Congress" by Jim Streeter, Staff Director, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. Address to the Sixteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Latham, N.Y. October 20, 2012 (Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.)
    This thought-provoking talk ranged through a number of topics affecting both federal and private land: federal land management and the effect on school systems in the West, invasive species studies without action, National Park concessions, setting bounds on federal authority, laws to define harassment by feds per Supreme Court dissent, collusion and lobbying with federal grants, feds and environmental groups targeting private properties, land adjoining federal land and heritage areas, mis-directing border control funding toward endangered species "damage," common sense in protecting species, defunding sustainable development grants, attacks on Tea party groups who oppose sustainable planning, history of federal lands, choosing language, the property rights movement, court decisions and legislative opportunities, experiences sought for hearings.
  • "Saving Land: Who Benefits and Who Loses" - by Susan Allen, A book review of Eco-Fascists: How Radical Conservationists Are Destroying Our National Heritage by Elizabeth Nickson (N.Y.: Harper Collins 2012)
    How the environmental movement broke the rural economy. The result of an international journalist's research across North America and beyond after she delved into what was behind the preservationist obstruction of the building of her eco-sensitive house in British Columbia.
  • Carol W. LaGrasse"Enormous Wilderness Corridors Masquerading as Land Management Refinements" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Reprinted from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 15, No. 1 (PRFA, Spring 2011)
    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Strategic Plan for its 442 state forests comprising 786,000 acres outside the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserves focuses on ensuring connectivity for wildlife movement between large "matrix blocks" of state forests maintained as mature cover connected with wide, natural strips of land with a high percentage of forest cover. This system would enhance connectivity though deep forested areas from Ontario to Georgia.
  • "Governor's Tax Cap Threatens 125-Year-Old Covenant to Pay Local Taxes" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., February 12, 2009
    When the New York State Legislature established the Adirondack Forest Preserve, the Legislature followed the recommendations of the official commission, which concluded that because the protection of the forest "would be chiefly for the benefit of the rest of the State," the State should "hereafter bear taxes upon its lands in the Adirondack region." It may take 125 years, but with control of much of the land, preservationists control the tax base and future.
  • "Governor's Proposed State Tax Cap Would Be A Tax Outrage" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc. Reduced size version (pdf) of advertisement that appeared in the Adirondack Journal, January 31, 2009
    A cap on the State payment of property taxes to localities within the 6,000,000-acre Adirondack region would gradually cause a damaging and destructive shift of the tax burden to the already restricted and weak local economies. Fair play demands that the Legislature's long-established doctrine to pay local taxes be upheld.
  • Devlen Mackey"Farmers Fight Back in the New Jersey Highlands" - By Devlen Mackey, Owner, Mackey Orchards, Belvidere, New Jersey; Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
    Farmers, local government, and developers are opposing the state regional zoning law, the New Jersey Highlands Regional Planning and Water Protection Act, which imposes 88-acre zoning and exploits endangered species rules in Hunterdon, Warren, and other northwestern New Jersey counties to stop the use of land. The law is said to be intended to protect the watershed for drinking water, but sewers to keep flow from Lake Hopatcong are prohibited by the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Jason Knox"Update from Congress" - By Jason Knox, Esq., Member of Legislative Staff, Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Forests and Public Lands, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.; Eleventh Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 13, 2007)
    Part of the legislation that Nancy Pelosi would like to ram through Congress is H.R. 6 to take, Chavez-like, the contracts of oil companies awarded to drill on the outer continental shelf during the Clinton Administration. A National Heritage Area omnibus bill (H.R. 1483) would accomplish the Journey through Hallowed Ground and Niagara Falls National Heritage Areas, among others. The Niagara Falls area would involve the National Park Service in casinos. H.R. 2016 would do away with multiple use in BLM lands, making billions of acres into defacto wilderness.
  • Nate Dickinson"Warriors for Our Time" - Book review by
    Nathaniel R. Dickinson, Property Rights Foundation of America, March 2007
    Review of Warriors for the West by William Perry Pendley (Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2006)
    Perry Pendley, president and chief legal officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation, chronicles the heroic battles of westerners for freedom and land rights in the face of bureaucrats, environmental groups and judges who are destroying the rights to land, the viability of local communities, and freedom itself.
  • Karen Budd-Falen, Esq."RICO Action-Rancher Stops BLM Access Extortion" - By Karen Budd-Falen, Esq., Senior Attorney, Budd-Falen Law Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Tenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 14, 2006)
    When officials of the federal Bureau of Land Management used repeated harassment to try to intimidate Frank Robbins into granting an easement across his property, the owner of High Island Ranch in Wyoming sued the individual officials under RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Robbins.
  • Robert J. Smith"The Endangered Species Act—Can It Be Reformed?"-Robert J. Smith, President, Center for Private Conservation & Adjunct Environmental Scholar, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Tenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y., October 14, 2006)
    The Endangered Species Act was conceived to control people, not to save species. It has never worked for its supposed purpose to save species. The Endangered Species Act created incentive to destroy red-cockaded woodpecker habitat in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was backed down by bad publicity after trying to force tree farmer Ben Coon of North Carolina to put his land under their extreme red-cockaded woodpecker restrictions. Congress is unlikely to reform the ESA soon.
  • "Yes, Our President Has a Clear Mandate and the Will of the People Must Be Heeded" - By Nate Dickinson (PRFA, November 10, 2004)
    The election of 2004 gives President George W. Bush the opportunity to correct the Administration's neglect of so-called environmental matters. Issues such as endangered species, wise use of the National Forests, and oil drilling need to be tackled with intelligence. The influence of radical environmental groups must be challenged and diminished.
  • "Landownership in America" - By Robert J. Smith, President, Center for Private Conservation & Senior Adjunct Scholar Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.; Speech to the Eighth Annual Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany, N.Y. October 23, 2004)
    The federal government owns about one third of the American land. All government landownership is between 42 and 48 percent of the land in the United States, the most socialized land system in the world.
  • "New Land Designation Threatens Northern New Jersey Communities" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, December 8, 2003)
    The New Jersey delegation maneuvered the "Highlands Stewardship Act," with $110 million for land acquisition, into the "Healthy Forest Restoration Act," the bill that Western states ardently sought to reduce the risk of catastrophic forest fires, but the addition was stripped in conference.
  • "Open Range Warfare — The 2003 Version" - By Ron Zumbrun (Reprinted by permission, from The Daily Recorder, City of Sacramento, October 13, 2003)
    Plumus County, California adopted an open range ordinance, forcing property owners to allow cattle grazing. Jack and Millie Herzberg are suing for trespass and illegal rent control. They want full compensation and liability insurance.
  • Jim Starr"The Corps of Engineers' Columbia River Estuary Fiasco" — By Jim Starr, Contributing Writer (PRFA, March 2003)
    Dredging, tern, and salmon smolt pose conflict. The Corps of Engineers' dredging has created islands from which tern prey on juvenile salmon, but the Corps' doomed approach to reducing predation is heavy-handed and based on fallacy.
  • "Maine Is Not Alone in Experiencing Rural Cleansing" - by Nate Dickinson, Wildlife Biologist (PRFA, November 2002)
    A review of Professor Jon Reisman's speech "Rural Cleansing in Maine," which was delivered at the Sixth Annual New York Conference on Private Property Rights.
  • Asst. Sec. of U.S. Dept. of Interior responds to LaGrasse (DOI Letter, June 18, 2002)
    Commenting specifically on LaGrasse's March 10, 2002 letter to DOI, Lynn Scarlet, Asst. Secretary, Policy, Management and Budget, responded, "With respect to your recommendation that endangered, threatened and rare species restoration should be contracted out, the President's Management Agenda does call for a greater focus on competitive sourcing...We share your desire for transparency and a wide range of partnerships for conservation."
  • "Congress Holds Stacked Hearing on Conservation Tax Credits" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, May 4, 2002)
    Fifty percent capital gains tax break would shift title to private land and conservation easements to land trusts and government. Land trusts, members of Congress, and big industry testify exclusively. However, articles give visibility to property rights activists' objections to Administration proposal.
  • "Supreme Court Rejects 'Categorical' Compensation for Temporary Taking" — By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, April 27, 2002)
    Justice Stevens writes that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency took only a "temporal slice" of the property interest by imposing lengthy building moratoria. No compensation to landowners is required. The troublesome ruling broadly affirmed the justice of central planning, but left open room for "ad hoc" appeals for compensation for temporary takings.
  • "Letter to Kit Kimball, Director, Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Dept. of Interior" - From Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 2002)
    This letter gives ideas for reform to incorporate in DOI's five-year strategic plan. Wildlife restoration and land acquisition should take place under transparent processes and be privatized, eliminating corporatism between government and non-profit organizations. Management of DOI land should promote private property rights, while protecting human life, adjacent lands, rural communities, wildlife and the environment, to produce raw materials, provide recreation, and reduce eco-colonialism.
  • Don Fife's Page (Updated June 6, 2002)
    An environmental geologist, Don Fife has served four secretaries of the interior as an appointee/advisor for the 25-million-acre California Desert Conservation Area. His incisive topics range from
    "Greens Force Strategic Mine Out of Business—Communist China now controls supply of rare minerals" to "Locoweed Closes 48,000 Acres of Alogones Dunes Off-Highway Vehicle Park."
    (Updated February 11, 2002)
  • "Klamath Basin farmers fall victim to the Endangered Species Act"-Reprinted by permission from Wyoming Agriculture, June 2001, published by the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation.
    Using the Endangered Species Act this year, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau have turned off the water to protect the shortnose and Lost River suckers, although they are neither endangered nor harmed by the farmers' water use.
  • "The Los Alamos Fire" - Carol W. LaGrasse, reprinted from Positions on Property, Vol. 5, No. 1 (PRFA, July 2000)
    The danger of widespread wildfire caused by federal mismanagement of government-owned land.
  • "Federal Landownership and Control" - Robert J. Smith, Senior Environmental Scholar, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC, from Proceedings of the Fourth Annual N.Y. Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, 1999)
  • "The End of the Long March-Environmentalism's Iron Grip" - Carol W. LaGrasse, excerpted from full article by that title in Positions on Property, Vol. l, No. 2 (PRFA, May 1994)
    This penetrating article presaged the national concern about the potential for the unlimited power of environmental regulation.

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